Arsenal’s Scottish left-back Kieran Tierney has revealed leaving Celtic was “the hardest decision” of his life and that he “misses everything” about playing for his boyhood club.
Tierney joined Arsenal from Celtic on Deadline Day in August last year for £25m – a record fee for a Scottish player.
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But the 22-year-old has admitted in a Q&A on Arsenal’s official website that saying goodbye to the Scottish Premiership champions was tough.
“I would say leaving Celtic was the hardest decision I’d ever had to make and I knew I would always miss Celtic no matter what happens in life.
“But the chance to play for Arsenal was a challenge that when I heard of it, I was just looking forward to it.
“I didn’t move to Arsenal to live in London. I came to London so I could play for Arsenal.
“I miss everything about Celtic. And I always will. I am very grateful for every second I spent playing for the club.”
In his eight months at Arsenal, Tierney has been hugely impressed by teenage forward Gabriel Martinelli and has tipped him to be world-class.
Martinelli, 18, has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season, including three in the Premier League in his debut campaign for Arsenal.
Asked which youth player can be a world-beater in the future, Tierney replied: “I would say Martinelli.
“I think his hunger and drive and his talent together as one is more than enough to be a world-class player for many years.
“When I first did a full training session with the team I was put up against Martinelli and the intensity of his play was honestly mind-blowing and I thought to myself: this is the standard I need to be at to play for Arsenal.”
Tierney has been out with a shoulder injury which he picked up in Arsenal’s win at West Ham last year.
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